Canadian Medical Teams Helping Out in Haiti

Monthly Archives: March 2015

Where do you find the energy?

Where do you find the energy? Do you hit the gym a lot? Eat right? Do you have a good sleep schedule? Have you hit the sweet spot for a proper work/life balance? Are you happy? Where? Where does your energy come from? Sure, it can be any of those things. They’re all positive. But the best energy out there comes from one simple source… people.

We are hitting our peak here. Everyone’s firing on all cylinders. The OR has been so busy seeing case after case. Everyone’s working together.  And we have been privileged to have residents from two teaching programs in Haiti working with us all week. That kind of hands-on education will go a long way.

Pauline and Linda have been flat out in the ER today too for what seems like a busier day than usual.

The teaching has been extensive. Jackie secured brand new training mannequins for this trip and they have been in constant use.

Anesthesia and Dr. Sampson have done resident teaching rounds every morning.  Dr. Boone talked on general surgery diseases to med students. Dr. Smith did a casting session.  Dr. Martin and Dr. Cashin travelled to another hospital at 6:30 AM to teach.

These are the people that create the energy that drives Team Broken Earth. Their commitment, their never-say-stop attitudes. That’s the fuel.

It’s hump day today. Can’t believe how quick the week is going. But mid week is when you always could do with a boost. Today, that boost was the arrival of a container from home.  Sponsored by Rotary St. John’s and facilitated by Canadian Medical Supplies. We can’t thank you enough for this. It’s like Christmas for healthcare fans… it contained badly needed monitors for the ICU and a new intra-operative X-ray machine.

Second wind is achieved all round. Bring on the rest of the week.

– Andrew

Ps. Tell me: where do you find your energy?

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Latest Blog: ‘The place where typical does not exist…’

A lot of people have asked me what a typical day in Haiti is like. The answer always evades me. There’s nothing ordinary about this place. Some nights, it’s as quiet as a church. Other nights, you can hear a gun shot in the distance and you’re quickly reminded that this is not a vacation, no matter how much you love the heat versus the snow back home. This is Haiti. Anything typical was buried here long ago.

The team worked hard all day.  And after seeing over 60 patients yesterday, it was now time to operate. The OR staff saved two lives today…one from a gunshot wound with injuries to multiple veins. The whole team clicked into action… from Carlos in the ER to Lisa, our radiologist.  Then straight to the OR where it is like symphony, every one working as one. And today that concert was conducted by Dr. Pridham and Dr. Boone…

Continue Reading…

The place where typical does not exist.

A lot of people have asked me what a typical day in Haiti is like. The answer always evades me. There’s nothing ordinary about this place. Some nights, it’s as quiet as a church. Other nights, you can hear a gun shot in the distance and you’re quickly reminded that this is not a vacation, no matter how much you love the heat versus the snow back home. This is Haiti. Anything typical was buried here long ago.

The team worked hard all day.  And after seeing over 60 patients yesterday, it was now time to operate. The OR staff saved two lives today…one from a gunshot wound with injuries to multiple veins. The whole team clicked into action… from Carlos in the ER to Lisa, our radiologist.  Then straight to the OR where it is like symphony, every one working as one. And today that concert was conducted by Dr. Pridham and Dr. Boone.

In the very room next door, separated by a window that opens, the resident team of Dr. Smith and Dr. Decker were amputating an arm of a 16 year-old boy with cancer. The procedure saved his life.

Emily, our physiotherapist, was busy in the spinal care unit working with para and quadriplegics. And then there’s the real fuel of the machine. The nurses.  I have always said they can do a lot without us. But we can’t do anything with out them. Here and at home, I have so much respect for them. So much to thank them for.

The flow of patients never stops. And it’s heartbreaking to see the faces on the ones that are turned away at the gate because the hospital is at capacity.

A typical day in Haiti.

I hope some day that will exist.

-Andrew

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Read the Latest Blog from Dr. Furey on Team Growth for TBE…

Each update made me more and more excited. Sometimes pictures are just not enough. We are building something. It feels like we’re taking something back from the earthquake’s devastation. Putting a foundation down. Literally, a foundation. A footprint that says Team Broken Earth and our amazing supporters like Columbus are here in Haiti to stay. This new building represents such a big part of our aspirations here.

I can’t help but draw similarities between the new building and our teams. Both started from an idea and have grown so far beyond what we expected or hoped…

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When the groove is good.

Each update made me more and more excited. Sometimes pictures are just not enough. We are building something. It feels like we’re taking something back from the earthquake’s devastation. Putting a foundation down. Literally, a foundation. A footprint that says Team Broken Earth and our amazing supporters like Columbus are here in Haiti to stay. This new building represents such a big part of our aspirations here.

I can’t help but draw similarities between the new building and our teams. Both started from an idea and have grown so far beyond what we expected or hoped.

Our team is now composed of over 500 people from across the country.  The building – a discussion with our good friend and tireless supporter, Brendan Paddick – is now up to the second floor.

The team is a cohesive working unit.  The building is now a design of working support structures all leaning on each other for support. The team will make an ever-lasting effect on patients… the building, on the face of Haiti.

The teams continue to grow as will the new infrastructure for this country. We can all be proud of that.

Of course it’s business as usual here. Well, Haiti’s version of usual, which means non-stop. The new ER doctor, Brook Saunders, has received his baptism by fire. The surgical team has not stopped with a full day of clinic in two hospitals.

It was good to watch as Dr. Rideout consulted with new patients. They all offered the smiles he’d soon make perfect. And that in turn made us all smile.

– Andrew

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